Punishing and Deterring SRLs Using Costs Awards: A Failed Strategy?

Posted by: NSRLP Category: Blog Comments: 20 Post Date: July 26, 2018

In early 2012, I had just begun the research that would later be published in May 2013 as the National SRL Study, and was the impetus for the ongoing work of the NSRLP.

I was still a neophyte about the self-representation phenomenon. I had visited the study field sites in BC, Ontario, and Alberta, and had commenced detailed, semi-structured interviews with SRLs, both in-person, and by phone. Early on I was struck by the consistency of SRL replies to my questions about their motivation, challenges and experience. It didn’t matter that they were from eastern or western Canada, family court or civil court. I was early into information gathering, and I was focused on listening to anyone who would discuss self-representation, whether an SRL, lawyer, or researcher.

“Increased Costs Are the Solution”

One winter’s morning in early 2012 I had a call scheduled with a fellow academic who worked on family law issues, and had done some research with lawyers and judges on the self-representation phenomenon. I was eager to hear what he had learned and his ideas about how the justice system could adjust and respond to SRLs. No one was disputing the huge increase in SRLs – but we were just at the beginning of figuring out why it was happening, what this meant, and what we should do about it.

About half an hour later I sat at my kitchen counter, where I had taken the call. I had been focused on asking questions, and probing and clarifying what my colleague told me.

Now I was trying to absorb it. I felt shell-shocked by what I had just heard.

Which was: in order to discourage family litigants from self-representing, family courts should introduce new rules to allow judges to impose additional costs penalties on those coming without counsel. The rationale was that this would deter SRLs and make them realize that they must hire a lawyer to represent them. It was costs as punishment – literally.

I already knew that most of the people I had been talking to had no cash surplus to pay for a lawyer, or in many cases, they had used up all their available funds and had been forced to let their lawyer go and proceed alone. I knew that most would be unable to pay additional costs simply because they were ordered.

Surely, punishing them would only make them angrier and more suspicious of our legal system? It seemed an illogical and punitive way to “stop” self-representation. How was this the “solution”?

 Costs Awards Against Losing SRLs

Today we release the fourth report in our SRL Case Law Database (CLD) Research Reports Series. This report – written by Research Assistant Ashley Haines and myself – examines the case law on cost awards against losing SRLs (including a handful of cases where there were SRLs on both sides). This publication tracks costs awards against losing SRLs that depart from the “norm” of loser-pays partial (circa 60%) indemnity costs.

To refresh your memory, the CLD tracks cases involving SRLs that include:

  • judicial discussion of procedural fairness
  • unusual costs awards either for or against SRLs
  • the designation or the labelling of an SRL as “vexatious”
  • accommodation requests by SRLs.

Substantial and Punitive Costs Awards

In roughly half the total cases in the CLD in which an SRL was the losing party, costs were set at a “substantial” (1.5 x partial-indemnity) or punitive level, reflecting the court’s opinion that the SRL had abused the legal process in an intentional and/or unreasonable way.

This is a little startling and intriguing, but these cases do not have a comparable control group (a parallel group of cases involving represented parties), and the findings reflect our selection bias (we searched for unusual cost-awards). What is more significant is the correlation between cases where higher-than-usual costs awards were ordered against the losing SRL, and other parts of the CLD analysis.

Are Excessive Costs Being Awarded Against SRLs Who Make Honest Mistakes?

Of all the cases that involved substantial or punitive costs, 42% also raised issues of procedural fairness, that is, these were also cases where questions were raised and arguments made regarding the ability of an SRL to understand and fully participate in the proceedings. Procedural fairness issues stem from an SRL’s mistakes or misunderstandings about court procedure, and may relate to tasks such as filing and serving documents, or properly presenting admissible evidence to the court. The best-known case on this issue is the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Pintea v Johns in which NSRLP was an intervenor.

       Procedural Fairness

It concerns us that cases in which procedural fairness is an issue for the SRL are sometimes the same cases in which the losing SRL is ordered to pay excessive costs. Many of these cases focus on delays. While delays certainly raise Access to Justice issues, this may be in tension with ensuring that SRLs are not penalized for their lack of procedural knowledge. For instance, in the case of JJR v JFM, (2013 NBQB 253) costs of $3,500 were awarded against the SRL, because the SRL was not “fully prepared”, requiring an additional court appearance to bring forward further evidence regarding his income, and that he failed to file a post hearing brief.

Concerns about delay led to a much higher costs award – more than $120,000 – in Ottewell v Ottewell (2013 ONSC 721), a parental alienation case in which the court was highly critical of the SRL mother’s handling of the dispute between the parties.  However, she was also described as “…unfailingly polite to the court”, and Justice McCarthy acknowledged that she, “…attempted, as best she could, to follow my instructions as they pertained to procedure and rules of evidence” (2012 ONSC 5201 at para 30). How the courts balance these different factors in making discretionary costs awards against SRLs is likely to be an ongoing challenge, and we hope our new Research Report will generate some informed debate.

       Vexatiousness

In 8% of the analyzed cases involving substantial or punitive costs, the SRL was officially designated as a “vexatious litigant”. This is unsurprising given the relationship between increased costs, and behaviour deemed an abuse of process.

More concerning is that in 50% of these excessive costs cases the losing SRL was not formally designated vexatious, but was labelled with  ‘vexatious-style’ behavior, which we have already seen different courts define very differently.

While vexatious behavior is sometimes equated with acting ‘unreasonably’ (for example Ascani v Robert, 2013 ONSC 2579), or in a disrespectful or disruptive manner (for example Bouchard v Bouchard, 2017 MBQB 42), it has also referred been referenced as “verbal wanderings” (Darlington v Moore, 2012 NSSC 84) or failure to comply with court orders (for example Lalli v Grewal, 2017 BCSC 983). We shall be analyzing the case law on vexatiousness in depth in an upcoming report in this series, but we note here that the correlation between describing an SRL as “vexatious” and increased costs raises a question about the consistency and fairness with which SRL behaviour is judicially characterized (and punished) as intentionally vexatious.

Increased Costs are Not the Solution

While the Case Law Database continues to grow, and these initial  observations are not dispositive, there seems to be cause for concern that some courts are using costs awards to punish SRLs whose mistakes were unintentional and the result of their lack of knowledge and experience.

Further, this approach risks compromising the legitimate Access to Justice goal of using costs awards to deter process abuses – such as excessive delays and withholding information – that are deliberate, and calculated to damage the other side.

This strategy seems unlikely to turn SRLs back to hiring legal representation, since it ignores the underlying reason for the SRL phenomenon: the unaffordability of legal services as currently offered. And it risks further alienating members of the public who may feel that they are being unfairly penalized for honest mistakes.

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Comments (20)

  • margaret keating Reply

    This is nothing more than fat, overpaid, greedy lawyers using protectionist practices to keep themselves rich on the backs of the rest of us.

    The number of mistakes that are made by this group absolutely does not justify their charges. if they were doctors, every one of them would be in a malpractice suit of epic proportions.

    More, they are the only group that gets away with getting paid in advance, and not having to justify their fat charges. Their billings are out of control. This group needs to be reeled in, and fast.

    July 26, 2018 at 11:28 am
    • Susen Douglass Reply

      Margaret Keating . You said it perfectly . These lawyer need to be made accountable for their inaction and lack of progress . A set rate for divorce proceedings may inspire them to attain efficiently .

      July 26, 2018 at 12:59 pm
  • Serg Reply

    I do not see this has any merit or chances to happen …

    July 26, 2018 at 11:29 am
  • Ron Reply

    Certainly it seems the gap between justice and access to justice is widening… From everything I’ve been reading; the way lawyers are running and ruining the system (thousands of complaints to LSUC); Access to Justice should also be named Procedural Unfairness. Very discouraging. Thank you for all the insight and research.

    July 26, 2018 at 11:34 am
  • Calgary Reply

    Family lawyer rates are insane! Lawyer billings are out of control. Every phone call, email and task is topped up. We pay lawyers hundreds of dollars per hour for our lawyers to sit in court and clerk lines for their “turn” wasting time or billing for more than one client for the same time.

    What other profession justifies hourly rates like this? The courts are so complicated, slow, crazy procedures that wastes time. Access to justice has become an essential service. Let’s simplify the court system and it’s processes. We need a more collaborative, cooperative, reasonable, make sense, less procedural process.

    No wonder Legal Aid needs more funding! Legal Aid can’t afford lawyer rates. Maybe if we get their rates in line more citizens would be able to get the help they need. I cringe when I hear in the news that those charged with a crime need more Legal Aid funding. I never hear in the news that family lawyer rates are unattainable to the average person that is trying to support their children. Children. I never hear in the news that Legal Aid needs more funding for families struggling through the family law system.

    While at it let’s get some respectful communication training for judges. I am shocked how judges speak to lawyers and SRLs in court. They act annoyed, rude, disrespectful and impatient much of the time.

    Why not everyone involved be WORKING together? The court is set up to pit each other against one another in an adversarial fashion instead of working together. Achieving an outcome in family court needs to be more collaborative and cooperative. Our kids well being is at stake!

    July 26, 2018 at 2:06 pm
  • Allen Reply

    I personally hold attorneys generals responsible for judges behaving injudiciously. It is everyone’s right to represent themself and no judge has any right to do anything to deter people from representing themself. That is the bottom line plain and simple and where this happens the attorney general should take steps to remove such a judge. These same judges overlook mistakes by lawyers and often excuse them so what is their point?

    Also many cases SRLs take to court do not need to go the long haul for SRLs usually have enough evidence for the court on its own (motion) to determine the case BUT judges take it as a sport to unneccessarily draw cases out just to tangle SRLs in procedural rules and issues often many of these same judges do not even understand. If an SRL ever argue procedural failing by lawyers (or the court) the gang close rank and punish the SRL

    Our judges just need to be judges not an almighty person

    July 26, 2018 at 3:25 pm
  • Elizabeth Reply

    There are concerns within the SRL … and… the legal client…community, regarding the protectionism of the legal industry by instilling financial penalties for self-representing, as well as terms in retainer agreements that are often viewed by the consumer, to protect the legal professional more so than the client. I would look at the definition of extorton when a lawyer is permitted to walk off a file, but when the client fires a lawyer, the lawyer holds the client’s file as ransom for payment of any balance of fees the lawyer has determined to be outstanding, despite how much money the client has already been required to pay the lawyer. Add insult to injury…substantial cost awards are to “scare” self-represented parties away…and into (back into) the frey of the lawyer…or to have to walk away from tgeir rights all together. I would invite the justice system professionals to read the Anti-Bullying Act and apply that logic to their own institutional system. While they are at it, I invite them to read the research of Professor Jennifer Freyd on Institutional Betrayal. The legal industry is just that, a billion dollar “industry” with substantial profits to be made…and a corner of the market that is being lost due to the SRL.
    Public faith is crucial. Without it the justice “system” is in conflict and cannot function. The public loses faith when such a power imbalance remains present.

    July 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm
    • Navin Reply

      We can not hold each and every lawyer accountable for their greediness and unprofessional conduct. It is the duty of the LSUC which is a corrupt institution just as the Judicial Council.
      However, we can make our justice system fairer so that it is conducive to the needs of the changing society.
      That is where our judges come in. They have to be responsive, fairer and empathetic, which is currently lacking. Our justice system needs a cultural shift where the SRL’S are not seen as foes and lawyers as friends.
      When a lawyer wifully abuses the court process with the intend to obstruct and defeat justice, our judges turn a blind eye and in many cases come to their defense. Yet when a SRL makes a simple mistake, which our judges make from time to time, the courts come hard on the SRL and orders hefty costs against them.
      Because of the systemic malice towards the SRL, and in particular people of colour and different race, the objective of our justice system is to dismiss the action at the very first opportunity by using costs as a weapon. Wilfully defeating justice is a criminal offence in Canada yet it is routingly practiced in our justice system.

      July 27, 2018 at 10:28 am
    • Ron Reply

      If the system has been rigged to squeeze out SRL from access to justice, the problem is deeper than change can make. So grateful for those that have got away from the status quo (J. MacFarlane) and are trying to make that change.

      July 27, 2018 at 5:47 pm
  • Navin Joshi Reply

    It is not just an issue of unaffordibility. In many cases the lawyers do not want to take cases that are not lucrative or that are an embarassement such as flagrant Charter violations and systemic racism in our justice system.
    I could not find a lawyer willing to represent me in the Charter remedy case which implicates our own justice system from the Small Claims Court to the Court of Appeal.
    In fact my claim for Charter remedy has been ruled frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process, and is before the Supreme Court now.

    July 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm
    • Calgary Reply

      I had researched lawyer reviews carefully then contacted 8 plus family lawyers to try to hire them to take my file. Every single firm had asked me to complete their intake questionaire that asks for my income, assets, employment information, etc. I am an average family income earner. Then they say that they are too busy to accept my file or suggest their so called excellent junior lawyer that is going to save me so much money.

      It is their way of reviewing my finances to determine if I could “afford” their crazy hourly rates. Only lawyers can afford lawyers.

      July 27, 2018 at 2:11 pm
  • Ron Ford Reply

    Agreed on all above points and comments. Lawyers fees are ridiculous, their services slow and shoddy. They swear an oath to act with professional ethics and when they don’t complaints are laid against them, mere slaps on the wrist. The LSUS is run by lawyers for the lawyers. Only blatant misrepresentations frsud and theft bring charges or disbarment. Now the judges are acting inappropriately throwing cases out left right and centre. With skyrocketing unaffordable legal fees, lawyers working for or themselves and not for justice. It’ll be a very long time before SRL’S start getting their way.

    July 27, 2018 at 3:26 pm
  • Ken Chasse Reply

    This access to justice problem (A2J problem) is that, the majority of the population cannot afford legal service other than very simple routine legal services. The “flip side” of that statement of the problem is that the majority of law firms is very short of clients. In that situation, a lawyer doesn’t “gouge” (charge excessive fees for) the clients one still has. The best advertising is a satisfied client.
    The cause of the problem is that the method by which legal services are produced is very obsolete. In other words, “there are no economies-of-scale in the practice of law.” Therefore this A2J problem is inevitable. In law, it is the law societies’ problem to solve by sponsoring the support services that create the necessary economies-of-scale that affordability requires. Legislation such as s. 4.2 of Ontario’s Law Society Act dictates that it is their problem. Such support services are just now beginning to appear but in a scattered, uncoordinated fashion, without analysis as to need and effectiveness. They need law society support and increased effort to create more of them quickly.
    This SRL service (self-represented litigants service by the NSRLP) is of course, very commendable. But it has the same unfortunate feature of all law society and other institutional reactions to the problem of unaffordable legal services—it merely helps the population learn to LIVE WITH the problem. Therefore, those who manage such services, along with law societies, and other such institutions, do not try to SOLVE the problem. They should do both, particularly so law societies.
    Nowhere in the mountain of literature that has been written about this A2J problem is this question put, analyzed, and the answer sought: why is it that the method by which the work is done to produce legal services cannot produce affordable legal services for middle and lower income people? Lawyers can’t be the only profession that has this cost-price problem (i.e., the cost of producing a service versus the price that has to be charged for it). What do other professions do? What do all of the manufacturers of goods and services do in regard to their cost-price problems? This is a problem concerning the simple economic factors that apply to the different methods of producing a product or service. There is nothing unique in regard to the production of legal services that justifies the failure of that mountain of A2J literature, and those services, and of law societies, and other institutions, to engage in such analysis and answer those questions, and then solve the problem.
    So, if you don’t want to go through the rest of your legal career in a severely economically depressed profession, complain vigorously and intensely to your law society for its failure, during all of the decades during which this problem has been developing, to initiate a program to solve the problem. Tell them that such failure is a violation of s. 122 of Canada’s Criminal Code, “breach of trust by a public officer,” as that criminal offence was defined by the Supreme Court of Canada in, R. v. Boulanger, 2006 SCC 32. Don’t be gentle with your law society benchers (elected lawyer-managers). Their intentional, self-serving, “failure of convenience” is causing the general practitioner to disappear, and the per capita number of lawyers in private practice to drastically shrink. Benchers know that the statistics show that this has been happening for decades. And as has happened in the U.S., this process of shrinkage of the legal profession will be speed-up by the success of the commercial producers of legal services such as, LegalZoom, LegalX, and RocketLawyer.
    The response of law societies is false. They say, “we have ‘alternative legal services,’ and, ‘apps’ show great promise.” Such services as alternatives to an affordable lawyer are, simplistic, and mere charity, that cannot provide a competent solution to any serious legal problem. Can such “alternatives” provide the legal service that is good cross-examination? (Pro bono legal services are available only for short, simple cases). Such charity is very insulting to that majority of the population that cannot afford a lawyer. They pay for the justice system whereat benchers earn their living—a better living than that of those people within that majority. They are not only the majority of taxpayers, but also the majority of voters. By means of the social media and the news and broadcast media, they can be motivated and activated to call for the abolition of law societies.
    That would be the best thing that could happen to the legal profession. So in Ontario, use the next bencher election this coming Spring, 2019, to reform them, or promote their replacement with permanent institutions, having the necessary expertise, and are adequately responsive to public need and to the political-democratic process.
    Instead, we have law societies managed by part-time amateurs, who are not, in fact, held accountable by anybody. As a result, they rule BY law, but are not themselves subject to the rule OF law. Governments do not hold them to account for the performance of their duties as set out in the legislation that created Canada’s law societies. And so there has been no evolution in law society management structure and in the concept of what a bencher is and does. And so now, our law societies are like an elected government without a civil service. Such a government cannot govern, and neither can our law societies, as is proved by the existence of the A2J problem. And many more such problems will be created by technology that law societies will not be able to deal with. The profession will suffer from such incompetence.
    And “apps” (the application of electronic technology) to the present, very obsolete method of producing legal services can never solve the problem. Improving a bicycle can never produce the performance of the motor vehicle that the solution requires. No manufacturer of anything has ever achieved affordability by simply making itself more cost-efficient. All of them use support services methods of production. All medical services are provided by a management infrastructure made-up entirely of mutually-interdependent support services. Although it wasn’t intended to serve this purpose, CanLII is an “app” that has had no impact upon the A2J problem.
    Beginning in the 19th century, manufacturers of everything, have been moving to “support services methods” of production, and away from the “cottage industry method” used by the legal profession. If law society benchers don’t know how inadequate their responses to the problem are, it is because they are “willfully blind,” because they don’t want to be disturbed in their devotion to the 19th century concept of a law society’s purpose and the bencher’s desire to use it to embellish one’s career and practice.
    There will always be a need for organizations such as the NSRLP. But the view may take hold that the bigger the A2J problem is, the greater will be the importance of the NSRLP, and the careers of those who manage it. Therefore solving the A2J problem will be seen as not being in its self-interest. That view is not only contrary to the best interests and welfare of Canada as a society based upon the rule of law, but also that of the legal profession. People have never needed lawyers more. It is a gross insult to answer that need with nothing more than charity. Therefore, all lawyers should be working towards being able to provide affordable legal services for middle and lower income people. If the legal profession continues to shrink in numbers, it will become less important to the population, to taxpayers, and to voters, and as a result, less important to governments. And so will law societies and law schools.
    To learn more about the cause and solution of this A2J problem and law societies’ breach of legal duty to, the population, the courts, and to the legal profession itself, read this article:
    Ken Chasse, “Access to Justice–Unaffordable Legal Services’ Concepts and Solutions,” (SSRN, June 7, 2018, pdf.); online:
    .

    July 28, 2018 at 4:18 pm
  • David Hudyma Reply

    I couldn’t afford a good lawyer so tried to go with a cheaper one. I did so much of their work they should have paid me, but in the end I represented myself and painfully and slowly got things done. That was around 10 years ago so maybe things have changed in family court but I have to say the Clerks, jury duty lawyers and judges were mostly quite helpful and forgiving of my mistakes. One Judge even advised me on who to contact (I think it was the LSUS or equivalent in BC) because the Lawyer that was suppose to write up the final divorce didn’t and had skipped town. I got a hold of these people and it got done. They even followed up on me to assure I had the divorce paper filed and sealed.
    There were other SRL’s in the courthouse the same time as me and what I saw was they were all treated fairly. There was also some SRL that carelessly didn’t cross the t’s or dot the i’s and who’s behavior was vexatious. My concern about the above comments from people who claim to have been mistreated is that although I do sympathize with them, I would like to see more positive comments because I believe we (SRL) are making progress (or at we were) and the people with the power to change things should know there help is much appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Dave

    July 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm
  • David Hudyma Reply

    I forgot to add, Punishment cost’s against SRL is the mindset of Bullies and should never be aloud.

    July 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm
  • P A Rempel Reply

    Using costs as a punishment or deterrent for SRLs is a “Let them eat cake” response. The reality is that Joe and Jane Average can’t afford a lawyer for litigation. According to Stats Canada the average wage is $50,000 per year (~ $20/hr in take-home pay) so, by definition, HALF of the country earns this much or LESS. Compare this with lawyers’ fees and crunch the numbers.
    .

    A lawyers’ fees range from $250- $750 per hour. For Joe/Jane Average that is almost 2 days’ pay for a 1 hour preliminary interview with a lawyer or 1 week’s pay for an hour with a top end litigator. 2 DAYS’ – 1 WEEK’S wages for every HOUR of legal billing!! This isn’t a sustainable proposition, particularly since it takes many, many hours of legal time to conclude a case. And this isn’t discretionary income- these wages are needed to pay rent/mortgage, put food on the table, buy school shoes for the kids etc etc.
    .
    So…for many people, legal representation for litigation is unaffordable. It is self-representation or nothing. (And, the Legal Aid system can’t be expanded to provide representation for half the country!)
    .
    Other people may scrape together enough money to start off with representation and then find that the cost of counsel can be weaponised by the party with the deeper pockets. For example, opposing counsel can stonewall requests, send emails with invisible attachments, or fax letters ‘enclosing’ cheques. All of these techniques will result in a follow-up lawyer’s letters needing to be sent. If it is sustained, the attendant expense is likely to drive Joe/Jane into the ranks of the self-represented; the very situation about which lawyers are complaining.
    .
    Lawyers and the courts also try to have it both ways on the issue of self-representation and ignore the instances where the party involved desperately WANTS legal representation but there is no lawyer willing/able to take the case.
    .
    The NSRLP blog describes the case of Judy Gayton who was forced to represent herself despite having a severe brain injury. By law she was required to have a litigation representative but, since she couldn’t afford one, the court waived that requirement so that she could ‘represent’ herself –despite a capacity assessment stating that she would be unable to do this. Charming. https://representingyourselfcanada.com/without-a-litigation-representative-brain-damaged-plaintiff-forced-to-represent-herself-by-court-that-alters-her-competency-designation/
    .
    The other group who are unable to find legal representation, even when they can afford it, are people wanting to sue lawyers. In these cases lawyers place Profession before Public. The NSRLP blog covers this problem too. https://representingyourselfcanada.com/the-client-most-lawyers-fear-and-wont-represent-at-any-price/
    .
    .
    The common thread in all of this that the legal system is structured to suit the needs of lawyers and judges. The public runs a poor second. Yes, SRLs may slow the court system down through lack of familiarity with procedures but the SRLs are not ‘the problem’; rather, the large numbers of SRLs are a symptom of the lack of affordable justice. Attempting to reduce the number of SRLs through cost deterrents and/or penalties for SRLs will be no more effective than trying to put bandaids on a haemorrhage.

    July 30, 2018 at 11:15 pm
  • Gerald Landry Reply

    My File is titled: Family Law, a Psychopaths Playground for Legally Sanctioned Abuse!

    I concede with every Comment. In my Ontario, the Applicant had fraudulent Form 13:1 Financial Statements from 2010 listing $302.oo of Income with $261.oo of Payroll Deductions. I wrote her first 3 Illegal Aid Lawyers asking them to correct her Income or produce a Pay Stub. I also asked the Judge to have her 2nd Lawyer produce a Pay Stub, but he refused! Bingo, a violation of my Charter Rights, of fair and equal treatment before the Law.
    Later i did a Motion on “mens rea”, intentional perjury. I was denied to present my Filed Affidavit Evidence. Labelled vexatious and later at a Costs Hearing, charged $3,800.oo in Court Costs.
    I was only given the Trial Record 5 days before the Trial, including Saturday and Sunday when the Rules call for it to be Delivered to the Respondent 30 days before Trial. I immediately asked for an Adjournment and was refused by the Judge!
    The 2nd day of Trial I discovered the Applicant had a fraudulent CRA Tax Return listing only 12 Payments through the Family Responsibility Office when there are 27 Bi-Weekly Payments. I again asked for an Adjournment and was Refused. It took SiX months for the Judges Decision of mid January 2016, and only received the Keys SiX months later. An Appeal must be Filed within 2 months. I had Filed a Motion requesting to Inspect the Home before the Trial as their Appraiser had produced Creative Photography in their Market Assessment of the home and was Refused.
    I had requested Accommodation for my Workplace Toxic Fume Injury, that the Trial be held Off-Site and NoT in the new Court House in Thunder Bay. The judge played me for 7 weeks before Trial chasing Doctors Notes and looking for an alternate Hall for Trial. The last week before Trial, of which we had a Motion every Thursday for 7 weeks by telephone the Judge stated they would not be renting a Hall and I would have to either use the Porch for the Main Courtroom or the Cafeteria!
    Upon a sniff of the toxic Porch I agreed to the Cafeteria, but on the 2nd day i was getting feverish, as I suspected the AC System for the Courthouse would be mixing the Air. I again asked for an Adjournment and was Refused! The 3rd day my vision was getting blurry and again asked for an Adjournment and was Refused! I had suffered retinal tears in both eyes a year after the workplace exposure in 2003 to Pulp Mill Emissions, Not knowing there was formaldehyde in vehicle exhaust. How do you tell a Judge to stuff himself?
    When I asked for an Adjournment the morning of the 3rd day over the fraudulent CRA Tax Filing, the Court Officer had his hand on his Tazer, a great risk to myself as i was the 13th worker to suffer cardiac issues from the workplace exposure. My last day at work there were 59 tradesman on oxygen at the Hospital. My body was like a piece of lead for the 3 days previous, [hypoxia, cellular death], making me hyper sensitive to toxic emissions, Eg; vehicle exhaust starting on-setting the same sequaela of symptoms the fall of 2004. The Applicants Lawyer had accused me of fleigning sickness before the Trial in a sworn Affidavit!
    My Ontario Family Court experience has caused a flare-up of my Chronic Fatigue which had gotten better, probably in 2008. I now must rest 2 to 3 X’s a day from extreme fatigue unable to function mentally. When I wrote Ontario’s Attorney General providing evidence of Lawyers frauding Illegal Aid Ontario, their response was that they had No Authority over Legal Aid!!! The OPP Financial Crime unit refused to investigate!!!

    August 1, 2018 at 1:46 am
  • Dave Reply

    law is simple, do no harm / injury, honour your contract / promise, give to each what is due / pay what you owe;

    Problem is that access to court and justice is under the control of a private society, which does not like to do law for mankind, the people, because that society’s first care and duty is, not to the public, but to its own members

    officer, attorney, lawyer, justice or judge are members of a club or society, which has its own language (legalese) terms of art and customs

    much the same as a membe of a union, like the Teamsters, it’s a closed shop and anybody who is not a card carrying dues paid member is not welcome to work in the same area (“legal”)

    Thats why the “D I Y” do it yourselfers , , who wishes to move a court of law, gets profiled as, to use the copywrited term of art of the legal societey, a “SRL” self represented litigant and forced to to get (pay) legal advise or be punished with costs or labeled as vexatious

    Until the people, the public, the DIY, those of mankind who, own, pay for the workspace, regain access to courts of law, (not legal) there can be no justice for mankind

    August 4, 2018 at 5:20 am
  • P A Rempel Reply

    Hello NSRLP moderator

    I posted a comment on 30 July 2018. It hasn’t appeared yet, even though comments posted on 1 & 4 August have gone up. Is there a problem?

    Regards

    Anne Rempel

    August 8, 2018 at 3:03 am
    • NSRLP Reply

      Sorry Anne this is approved now.

      August 10, 2018 at 9:56 pm

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